By Nancy Wright, CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
Like many of you, our hearts hurt as we mourn the Black lives lost at the hand of racism. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other victims known and unknown, and to the Black community across the United States.
In our place of grief, we turn to the words of Nelson Mandela. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart that its opposite.”
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana stands with our Black families and allies of every race and ethnicity as we lift our voices and demand the end of racism against Black families.
Girl Scouts must be part of that change. Girls deserve that.
Our mission challenges us “to make the world a better place.” And we pledge to “help people at all times.” Those words carry great weight and responsibility and inspire us with strength as we denounce institutional racism, violence, injustice, and inequity.
No girl, or any young person, should grow up in a world defined by racial inequities and trauma. No Black person should fear for their lives because of the color of their skin.
But words alone cannot take away the pain of institutional racism felt by generations of Black families who have navigated a world informed by white privilege. Words cannot erase society’s collective failure to truly value every human being. We must act. That’s our promise to you.
If you are looking for resources to talk to your children about racism, we recommend Girl Scouts’ blog and Raising Awesome Girls platform, which have resources including, Why Tolerance Isn’t Working and How to Talk to Your Girl About Scary News. In addition, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture launched Talking About Race, an online portal providing tools and resources on the topics of race, racial identity, and how they influence every aspect of society.
Like you, we don’t have all the answers. But we are committed to navigating this path with you as an ally and advocate for the Black members of our community. For more than 100 years, we have stood for making the world a better place, and we encourage you to speak out, as Girl Scouts do, for what is right.
We will listen, learn, and leverage our resources to be anti-racist and inspire our girls to help make our world a better place, a more equitable, just world. That’s our promise to you.